i've owned the car for 2 years, bought it at 200,000km and drove it till 280,000km.
as with all cars with high mileage, you must look at what the previous owners did for maintence. in the case of my prelude, EVERYTHING started to break down from leaking raditors to starter problems. My cost of ownership was high, BEWARE its hard to find a prelude that is in good condition.
I bought my 1998 Prelude Base Coupe 4sp. manumatic with 74K miles on it in 2006 as my first car. LOVED it! It was the best car I ever owned. In the year that I had it, I only replaced the O2 sensor. Not bad. The reason I had to get rid of it? It cost me too much to keep it. I was only 17, not making much money and couldn't afford the low profile tires (stock wheels, mind you), the premium fuel and, of course, the insurance company ate me alive. I didn't do my homework before I bought it. So, if you can afford the cost of ownership, this will be a great car.
I bought this car with 256000km's (159000 miles) on the car and finally bought a new car. It currently has 320000 kms (199000 miles). I'll be honest, Ive never driven a brand new Prelude, but from what I can see, considering the milage was high, it still booted, vtec'd, and sound like a fast sportscar. from 256000 to 320000 kms, i only worried about oil changes and gas. i had a couple of small things that had to be changed - fan belt, rotors, and exhaust. These are all 'maintenance' issues. This car is a soldier, and I abused the hell out of the car, and it just wont die. It is rusty as hell, and so now that I bought my new car, my prelude satisfies the carefree in me.
vtec, and cable throttle (not stupid dbw throttle).
This car is no longer being produced, so commenting on an improvement would prove futile!
I own the tiptronic model, standard 2.2L, no fancy wancy vtec. Overall the Prelude is a beautiful car, thankfully the previous owners kept up the servicing and didn't thrash the living daylights out of it. My model is completely stock, straight out of the box, and I am very impressed. Tiptronic is great, you have the choice of just cruising around town in auto mode, or slapping the stick over to the side and drive it like a manual, changing gears without lifting the throttle - an added bonus. Great for open road cruising (Auckland to Cape Reinga and back (done 950+KM in two days) Excellent car. No nonsense. Safe. Reliable. End of story. Buy it!
Tiptronic, just can't beat it.
Passengers in the back seat have complained about the seats being too up-right (vertically). The front headlights are it's biggest downpoint in my opinion. Window wipers need to have an adjustable delay time instead of a set timer. Upholstery is a pain in the rear to vacuum, worst I've come across.
I bought my 1998 Base model Honda prelude about 3 months ago for 7,000 dollars at a used car dealership with 104k miles. When I bought it, it had a few aftermarket features such as DC sport headers, apexi n1 exhaust and lowering springs. I was looking for a good car to buy all around and the prelude fit my description perfectly, decent price range, good gas mileage, speedy car and reliable. The car is pretty quick my kill list includes Mitsubishi 3000GT, Every truck that has ever raced me, Audi TT turbo'd and any v6 mustang. The only problem I have had is the vinyl plastic under the windows both dried up and crusted off (common problem which is a pretty easy fix) and maybe cheap paint?
Vtec is great, body style and handling is great also. Overall an amazing vehicle and I would suggest it to anyone thinking about buying it.
The paint seems to chip easily, the vinyl plastic under windows dries up and crusts easily, I have read that the automatic transmissions are really bad and usually break down so get a manual.